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Comoros History Timeline

Comoros's Information

Flag of Comoros
Land Area 2,235 km2
Total Area 2,235km2 (#168)
Population 794,678 (#162)
Population Density 355.56/km2
Government Type Federal Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $1.26 Billion
GDP Per Capita $1,500
Currency Franc (KMF)

900 - 1700

  • (933) Omani sailors called the Comoros Islands "The Perfume Islands" due to the scent of the ylang-ylang
  • (1154) Arab geographer depicted Comoros on map, said its sailors sold metal tools for gold and ivory
  • (1400s) Shirazi Arab clans arrived from the Swahili Coast of East Africa, built mosques; introduced architecture, carpentry
  • (1500s) Sultanates of Ndzuwani (Anjouan) and Maore (Mayotte) were founded
  • (1505) Portuguese explorers visited the archipelago
  • (1506) Portuguese began to challenge Bantu Muslim chiefs
  • (1514) Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal and his forces sacked the islands
  • (1527) Diego Ribero, a Portuguese cartographer, showed Comoros Islands on European map
  • (1600s) Slave trading was most important export commodity
  • (1648) Malagasy pirates raided the islands
  • (1785) The Sakalava of the west coast of Madagascar began slaving raids on Comoros
  • (1830) Sultanate of Mwali (Moheli) separated from Sultanate of Ndzuwani (Anjouan)
  • (1833) Maore (Mayotte) annexed by Moheli
  • (1835) Maore (Mayotte) was annexed from Moheli by Anjouan
  • (1836) Maore (Mayotte) proclaimed independence from Anjouan
  • (1841) France established a protectorate over Maore, named it Mayotte as a dependency of Ile Bourbon
  • (1866) Anjouan was annexed to Mayotte
  • (1886) Sultanate of Bambao, Said Ali bin Said Omar, united the sultanates of Grand Comore into the state of Ngazidja
  • (1886) Ngazidja (Grand Comoros) became French protectorate
  • (1892) Sultanates in Grand Comore were suppressed by France
  • (1893) Said Ali bin Said Omar sent into exile on Reunion Island
  • (1912) Comoros were proclaimed as French colonies, became a dependency of Madagascar
  • (1942) British forces invaded Comoros, began occupation
  • (1946) British occupation ended
  • (1946) Comoros became overseas territory of France
  • (1961) Comoros gained autonomy from France, became State of Comoros
  • (1974) Three of the Comoros Islands voted for independence; the fourth island, Mayotte, voted to stay with France
  • (1975) Comoros declared independence, Ahmed Abdallah became president
  • (1975) President Abdallah deposed in armed coup, replaced by Prince Said Mohammed Jaffar
  • (1976) Prince Said Mohammed Jaffar replaced by Minister of Defense Ali Soilih, tried to turn country into secular, socialist republic
  • (1976) Mayotte became a territorial collectivity of France
  • (1977) After loss of French financial subsidies, over 3,500 civil servants were dismissed
  • (1978) Ali Soilih toppled and killed by mercenaries led by French Colonel Bob Denard
  • (1978) Ahmed Abdallah restored to power
  • (1978) New constitution approved, each island granted own legislature and control over taxes on individuals and island businesses, Islam restored as state religion, Abdallah granted six-year term as president
  • (1978) State of Comoros became Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros
  • (1979) Soilih regime members were arrested, four ministers disappeared, about 300 imprisoned without trial
  • (1979) Opposition group United National Front of Comorans formed
  • (1980) Opposition group National Committee for Public Safety formed
  • (1981) Coup attempt led by former official of Soilih regime failed, 40 arrested
  • (1982) Comoros became one-party state; President Abdallah's Comoran Union for Progress was sole political party
  • (1984) President Abdallah elected to a second six-year term after winning more than 99 percent of the vote as the sole candidate
  • (1985) Constitutional amendment pushed by President Abdallah abolished role of prime minister, made president head of state and head of elected government
  • (1989) President Abdallah was assassinated by presidential guard under command of French mercenary, Colonel Bob Denard
  • (1989) Dominique Malacrino and Bob Denard were put on trial for the killing of President Abdallah; Denard was acquitted
  • (1990) Said Mohamed Djohar elected president
  • (1991) Attempts to impeach President Djohar failed
  • (1992) Coup attempt against President Djohar failed
  • (1995) President Djohar was removed from office in coup led by Bob Denard and a group of mercenaries
  • (1995) France denounced coup, ordered forces to retake the island; Denard surrendered
  • (1996) Mohamed Taki Abdoulkarim elected president
  • (1996) President Abdoulkarim drafted constitution extending authority of the president, established Islam as basis of law
  • (1997) Anjouan and Moheli Islands declared independence from the Comoros
  • (1997) Government troops sent to Anjouan, over 300 were killed or captured by the people who demanded to return to French rule
  • (1997) Referendum held in Anjouan Island, voters approved to reunite with France; France refused request
  • (1997) Leaders on Anjouan Island announced independent government
  • (1998) President Abdoulkarim died, replaced by Interim President Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde
  • (1999) President Massounde overthrown in bloodless coup led by Colonel Azali Assoumani, Army Chief of Staff
  • (1999) African Union imposed sanctions on Anjouan to help broker negotiations and reconciliation
  • (1999) Anjouan had internal conflicts; first president Foundi Abdallah Ibrahim resigned, power was transferred to national coordinator, Said Abeid
  • (1999) Official name of country was changed to Union of Comoros, new political autonomy system instituted for each island, union government for all three islands was established

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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